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Effect of gratitude on life satisfaction and perceived academic performance of psychology students

Much research has attempted to understand how we can live optimal lives and improve our overall life satisfaction. Due to the negative impact, negative emotions have on many individuals, there is a need to investigate possible strategies that may deliberately increase the level of positive emotions with the intention to improve overall life satisfaction. In this study, I used a mixed measures research design and recruited a sample of third years Psychology students to compare the effectiveness gratitude has on overall life satisfaction, which was conceptualized as a composite score of their self-reported levels of optimism, hope, gratitude, positivity, happiness, and interest sustainability. Second, the effect of their gratitude levels was also examined on their perceived academic performance. In order to achieve this, a gratitude application (the gratitude app) was used as a tool, by participants in experimental group B, to encourage participants to actively practice their gratitude (intervention) over seven weeks. All participants (control group A (n=24) and experimental group B (n=23) completed a questionnaire every three weeks, which gave us their baselines scores, middle scores during the intervention, and final scores after the intervention. The results indicated that gratitude had an effect on optimism, hope, interest sustainability, and perceived academic performance. Overall, the findings indicated that participants who used the gratitude app had an overall increase in their self-reported level of life satisfaction and perceived academic performance compared to those who did not use the gratitude app. This research indicates that gratitude is a promising strategy to use in order to increase levels of positive emotions and as a result overall life satisfaction.
Type of thesis
Clarkson, R. K. (2020). Effect of gratitude on life satisfaction and perceived academic performance in psychology students (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13867
The University of Waikato
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